Coronavirus: KPL will remain suspended owing to curfew extension – Oguda

Gor Mahia players with KPL trophy.

The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) will remain suspended indefinitely following the government directive to extend the curfew occasioned by the coronavirus.

On Saturday, President Uhuru Kenyatta confirmed the extension of the curfew in the country for the next 21 days in a move aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

“The league will remain suspended as per the orders given on Saturday,” KPL CEO Jack Oguda told Goal on Sunday.

“Nothing will change because the move to extend the ban on sporting activities for the next 21 days means we cannot play football.

“We will only be able to kick a football when the government gives us an okay, they are the experts in terms of the coronavirus and they know more than we do, so we cannot go against the ban, and the league will thus remain suspended for the same period.”

The Kenyan top-flight was suspended with nine rounds of matches to go and with Gor Mahia at the top of the 17-team table.

Oguda now says they will continue to consult on the best way possible to handle the situation without hurting any of their members.

“The 21 days means we have until May 18 before we can tell whether the league will resume or not, we might either be forced to cancel the league or we resume the same if everything is fine but then postpone the kick-off for the new season to a later date,” Oguda continued.

“Our plans before the season kicked-off was to finish the league and start a new league by August but if the members decide to conclude this season, then the kick-off date for the new season will definitely be affected, and will be pushed forward."

There have been mixed reactions on what should be done if the league is ended prematurely, with some suggesting Gor Mahia be crowned champions while others feel the league should be declared null and void and resumed afresh.

The Eredivisie season became the first league in Europe to be ended with immediate effect.

There will also be no promotion to the Eredivisie or relegation from the top flight, following an agreement reached over a video conference call between the Dutch FA (KNVB) and clubs.

Ajax were top of the Eredivisie table, ahead of AZ Alkmaar on goal difference, with nine rounds of matches to play when the season was suspended.